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Potato-chip crust gives new flavor to fish fillets

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Updated: April 14, 2013 2:09AM



There’s no escape from finding fish on a Friday Lenten menu. As sure as you toast the upcoming weekend, it’s bound to be there. For most of us, though, it’s not a punishment. We wait all year for just a few special meat-free Fridays when fish fries and seafood recipes reign as king.

But a change to the mundane can be a real novelty during a season that is ruled by deep-fried cod, tuna sandwiches and baked trout with lemon — especially when it is something tasty and unique that can be prepared with ingredients already stowed away in your cupboard.

Using crushed potato chips as a coating is old news. It has been popping up at church benefits and potluck dinners for probably half of a century, coating everything from chicken breasts to tuna casseroles. But as a crust for cod or lake perch, it opens up a whole different realm of flavor for pretty standard fare.

Essentially five ingredients (fish, potato chips, honey mustard dressing, Parmesan and thyme), these tasty baked fillets of lake perch or cod stand true to all of the prudence of a Lenten meal without skimping on flavor. The salt from the chips and the flavor from the honey mustard work like perfect partners in crime, providing just the right amount of flavor for an already flavorful fish.

With only minutes of preparation and another 10 minutes in the oven, this dish is ideal for a Ash Wednesday or a Friday during Lent at home.

Variation isn’t snubbed, either. Try replacing the honey mustard with hot sauce or ranch dressing for a tangier upgrade. The option of a smattering of Parmesan gives this dish a bolder flavor, but it could be eliminated.

Forego the fish fry one night and give this new rendition of “fish and chips” a spot on your Lenten table.

Potato
Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets

4 fresh lake perch or cod fillets

Nonstick cooking spray

2/3 cup bottle honey-mustard salad dressing

4 cups potato chips, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional)

Combine crushed chips, thyme and Parmesan (if using) in a large bowl or shallow dish. Set aside.

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Line a baking dish with foil and spray foil with nonstick spray.

Brush each entire fillet with the honey mustard dressing, then dip into crushed chips mixture to coat both sides. Place fillets baking dish and bake for about 8 minutes (or more, depending on thickness) or until fish begins to flake.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens “Prizewinning Recipes” cookbook, 2013.



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